Team victories highlight track meet success

Written By Robert Berger, Co-Sports Editor

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The Pioneer men’s and women’s indoor track and field team left Berea, Ohio this weekend with two team wins.

“In years past, we’ve been close to winning this meet, and this year we were able to do it,” head coach Kelly Parsley said.

Point Park competed at the Baldwin-Wallace mid-February Meet last Friday. The Pioneers competed against 14 schools, with both the men and women finishing first overall in the team rankings.

On the track for the women, Anna Shields finished first in the 1,000 meter while shaving eight seconds off her National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) leading time, finishing in 2 minutes, 49.87 seconds. Freshman Saydi Lappe also ran for the Pioneers and finished second in 3 minutes, 25.16 seconds.

“It feels great to have finished second, especially behind Anna,” Lappe said. “Coach told me he believed in me to finish second, and I did. It felt great.”

Junior Aneia Dutrieuille placed first in the 400 meter with a time of 1 minute, 3.24 seconds. Dutrieuille also ran in the women’s 200 meter relay alongside Jahniah McAllister, Taylor Celich and Olukemi Olugbakinro, helping Point Park finish first with a time of 1 minute, 56.11 seconds.

“It’s awesome that we won,” Celich said. “It was a little different than other races. This meet had a smaller track, so we were going around two curves instead of one, but we were able to run well.”

The Pioneers also won the women’s 400 meter relay with Olugbakinro, Dutrieuille, Celich and Shields finishing in 4 minutes, 18 seconds.

Also on the track, junior Katie Guarnaccia finished second overall in the mile with a personal best time of 5 minutes, 22 seconds. Lappe finished fifth overall with a time of 5 minutes, 48 seconds, a personal best.

“I never thought I’d be doing this well in track,” Lappe said. “I was mostly a cross country runner before. Running both definitely is an advantage when competing.”

On the field, the Pioneer women saw Kiana Daley place sixth in shot put with a 10.27m throw. Vanessa Sprando finished seventh with a 10.16m throw.

On the track for the men, freshman Xavier Stephens won the 1,000 meters with a time of 2 minutes, 36.73 seconds. Junior Chris Hunt placed ninth in the event at 3 minutes, 2.03 seconds.

The Pioneer jumpers had a big day, led by sophomore Michael Morris’s win in the high jump event with a leap of 1.85 meters. In the long jump, sophomore Andre Lowery claimed first place with a 6.58-meter jump. Jryi Davis won the triple jump with a 13.46 meters, his third triple jump victory in a row.

“Our jumpers weren’t fully healthy and were taking it easy,” Parsley said. “They didn’t jump as well as in the past, but were still able to get wins.”

Junior Aaron Barlow finished second out of 26 participants in the 400-meter run with a time of 52.68 seconds.

The Point Park men also won the 200 meter relay with a time of 1 minute, 35.36 seconds, establishing a school record. The Pioneers were represented by Theopolis Washington, Eric Biggs, Tory Doby and Barlow.

Sophomore Sean Hilverding helped the team score with a third-place finish in the 3,000 meter with his time of 9 minutes, 12 seconds.

Overall, the men’s team finished with 114 team points, enough to win the team title. Finishing in second place was Glenville State with 82.50 points. The Point Park women finished with 96 points, followed by Glenville’s 84.

The Pioneers will compete in their last regular season meet Feb. 18 at the Kent State Tuneup. This is the last opportunity for athletes to qualify the NAIA Indoor National Championship March 2-4 in Johnson City, Tenn. The Pioneers have six athletes set to compete at nationals thus far.

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